Mayor Weinberger Announces Successful Negotiation of City Contracts with AFSCME and IBEW


Burlington, Vt. – Today, Mayor Miro Weinberger announced the successful negotiation of contracts with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); the contract was ratified in a unanimous vote by the City Council during its July 18 meeting. The Council ratified a four-year International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) contract on June 27. 


Since first being elected, Mayor Weinberger has sought to reach agreements with the City’s unions at the negotiating table, instead of through binding arbitration. With the Council's approval tonight, his Administration has succeeded at this for the last 10 contracts dating back to 2014.


The four-year contract with AFSCME includes a new paid family leave policy, making Burlington the first municipality in Vermont to offer paid family leave to its employees.

“In a time of the highest inflation we have seen in decades and considerable economic volatility, I am pleased that we were able to negotiate a fair contract that values our City workers while including important taxpayer protections,” said Mayor Weinberger. “Further, I am proud that the City of Burlington will be the first municipality in the State to support its employees with paid family leave. The searing experience of the pandemic has demonstrated clearly how invaluable this benefit can be to a family in crisis. I'm confident that offering paid family leave will help the City recruit and retain employees in an extremely competitive labor market.”


AFSCME Local 1343 President Ron Jacobs said, “When I became president of AFSCME 1343, one of the local's goals I wanted to achieve was a good paid family leave article in the next contract. The fact that this new agreement not only includes this while also addressing current economic stresses is a testament to the cooperative spirit the contract negotiations were conducted in and a mutually recognized desire to improve the lives of our members. Thanks to the members of both negotiating teams and those they represented at the table.”


Burlington’s Paid Family Leave Benefit

Burlington will be the first municipality in Vermont to offer paid family leave, which will phase in over three years as follows:


  • Effective July 1, 2022, four weeks of paid family leave at 100% of compensation;
  • Effective July 1, 2023, four weeks at 100% of compensation and four weeks at 60% compensation;
  • Effective July 1, 2024 and thereafter, four weeks at 100% compensation and eight weeks at 60% compensation.

The Vermont Family and Medical Leave Insurance Coalition cites that 65% of Vermonters do not have access to paid family and medical leave, forcing workers to choose between a paycheck and caring for a loved one or bonding with a new child. The City’s policy will also be more inclusive for adoptive parents; under the City’s previous policy, only birthing parents were entitled to five weeks of disability pay after the birth of a child.


The non-partisan organizations Center for American Progress and Center of Budget and Policy Priorities cite numerous economic and social benefits of paid family leave, including:

  • Allowing workers to avoid having to choose between a paycheck and caring for family members;
  • Increases the likelihood that employees will return to their jobs instead of leaving the workforce;
  • Improves financial security for families, especially for those from historically marginalized groups such as women and BIPOC;
  • Improves employee morale, making it easier for an employer to retain workers, and avoiding the costs of replacing and training new employees; and
  • Supports child growth and development that will have lasting impact on children’s health;

Consistent with past practice, the Administration will seek Council approval to extend certain AFSCME contract provisions to non-union employees, meaning more than 400 City employees will receive this new benefit.


Additional AFSCME Contract Provisions

Other key components of the AFSCME contract include:

  • An 18% cost of living adjustment over four years, including a 7.2% increase in the first year;
  • Includes employees from Burlington City Arts, Business and Workforce Development, Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, and Innovation and Technology as part of AFSCME;
  • Maintains the 70% employer/30% employee contributions for retirement;

The Council previously ratified the IBEW contract on June 27, negotiating an 18% base wage increase over four years.


To read the contract agreement, find the PDF attached below.





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Mayor's Office